Mandated Community Service

Peer Imposed Mandated Community Service

Youth/Teen/Student/Peer Court and Peer Jury Diversion Programs

In all 1,800+ local youth/teen/student/peer court and peer jury diversion programs on 5-continents, peer imposed mandated community service hours are assigned to the youth who have been sentenced by their peers for a wide range of crimes, offenses and/or violations.  In almost all of these youth justice and juvenile justice diversion programs, adult organizers have set parameters, provided guidelines, created sentencing grids, and trained the youth volunteers on how many hours, and what types of peer imposed community service hours may be assigned by the youth jury to the youthful offenders appearing in local youth/teen/student/peer court and peer jury diversion programs.

Most adults involved with these diversion programs, agree that the two (2) most critical aspect of running a  youth/teen/student/peer court and peer jury diversion program, if they are to be effective in reducing recidivism rates, are having a high quality “Mandated Community Service Program” and having the “Hearings” be organized and fair for all parties involved.  Resources and training materials to assist local youth/teen/student/peer court and peer jury diversion programs in both of these areas are listed at the bottom of this page.

In some youth/teen/student/peer court and peer jury diversion programs, there is a limit of 50 hours of mandated community service hour which can be assigned, and in other youth/teen/student/peer court and peer jury diversion programs, there is a sentencing grid listing crimes, offenses and violations — and how many mandated community service hours can be assigned.  In addition to assigning peer imposed mandated community service hours, youth juries can assign the youthful offender to a wide range of other sanctions.  The most common are letters of apology, educational classes, restitution, jury duty on a subsequent cases and other types of sanctions, in addition to, or part of the total numbers of mandated community service hours the youthful offender needs to complete.

In 2007, when there were only 1,400 youth/teen/student/peer court and peer jury diversion programs, George Washington University reported that 1,925,956 hours of peer imposed mandated community service hours were assigned to youthful offenders who appeared in these 1,400 local youth-led and volunteer-driven diversion programs.  George Washington University reported that based on an minimum wage of $5.85 per hour, a total of $11,264,735 in restitution took place, as a result of  this peer imposed mandated community service.  Considering in 2018, there are now more than 1,800+ youth/teen/student/peer court and peer jury diversion programs on 5-Continents, these numbers back in 2007, are even more staggering.

Although some justice practitioners view mandated community service as simple punishment, others believe that mandated and meaningful community service can provide juvenile offenders with opportunities to “giveback” to those they have harmed, creating a restorative effect on the offenders, their victims, and the community. Outside the justice system, educators have long known the value volunteer community service as a learning tool.  School-based community service, called service learning, is a teaching strategy that links the skills and knowledge students learn in the classroom to issues, needs, or problems they identify in their school or community.

Professionals know that students who address real community needs with a service-learning project can develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills; gain a deeper understanding of how to promote constructive change; form meaningful, working relationships with people outside their peer and cohort groups; develop a deeper understanding of the causes and effects of community problems; gain a sense of their own effectiveness; and recognize the need for involvement.

Perhaps most important, many youth justice and juvenile justice professionals, particularly in those in local youth/teen/student/peer court and peer jury diversion programs, have seen a correlation between effective peer imposed community service, heightened civic awareness, and reduced recidivism rates.  We hope the resources below, will assist visitors to the Global Youth Justice Website, achieve even more favorable results in all youth involved in local youth/teen/student/peer court and peer jury diversion programs.  And, Global Youth Justice encourages local youth/teen/student/peer court and peer jury diversion programs to involve volunteer youth, to include former youthful offenders in “Group Mandated Community Service Projects” with the youth sentenced to participate in worthwhile and meaningful projects organized by local diversion programs.

 

Resources to Improve Peer Imposed Mandated Community Service

Giving Back:  Introducing Community Service Learning in Youth Courts

25 Lesson Plans for Improving Mandated Community Service

By Constitutional Rights Foundation and U.S. Department of Justice

107 Pages

Download Free

 

Street Law for Youth Courts:  Educational Workshops

16 Lesson Plans for Youth Volunteers and Youthful Offenders

By Street Law and U.S. Department of Justice

325 Pages

Download Free

 

The Role of Restorative Justice in Teen Courts

Technical Assistance Bulletin Series

By American Probation and Parole Association and U.S. Department of Justice

8 Pages

Download Free

 

Journal:  American Probation and Parole Association

Title:  Community Service Learning in Youth Courts

Youth/Teen/Student/Peer Court and Peer Jury

Global Youth Justice Article

 

Journal:  Federal Youth Court Program

Title:  Putting the Service in Youth Court

Youth/Teen/Student/Peer Court and Peer Jury

Global Youth Justice Article

 

Research and Data Collection Report

Funded by United States Department of Justice

Administered by George Washington University

George Washington University

 

Global Youth Justice @Campaign4TREES

https://www.globalyouthjustice.org/our-work/global-campaign-trees/

 

Questions on Youth/Teen/Student/Peer Court and Peer Jury

Call Global Youth Justice at (202) 468-3790 or GlobalYouthJustice@GlobalYouthJustice.org

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